The Washington Post: ‘Enviros Need to Get With a Program’

By November 2, 2005Energy

This is the headline of an excellent piece in today’s Washington Post by Steve Pearlstein, a guy with whom we sometimes agree, sometimes disagree. But today he hits it out of the park. Subtitled, “Sierra Club Stuck in the Past on Energy Policy“, it basically says everything we’ve been saying here on the blog for months. We started way back post-Katrina, noting that the winds of Katrina were in the process of blowing the enviro movement far off course, noting that the tide had clearly shifted and was about to carry them out to sea. With energy prices soaring, people are starting to focus on our national self-imposed moratorium on new sources of energy, thanks to the enviros. As we’ve been saying, if you’re shivering this winter, if you’re paying more for energy this winter, thank an enviro.

“Enviros can take some credit for the current gas shortage”, says Pearlstein, in a glaring understatement. He traces the enviros’ opposition to oil- and coal-fired plants to the proliferation of gas-fired plants that now see supplies dwindling and prices soaring. “The readiest source of domestic supply — [the OCS] — is hotly opposed by environmentalists”, he rightly notes. He turns then to liquid natural gas, and then does a bit of homework. He surfs a number of Sierra Club websites — in Los Angeles, Louisiana, Mississippi and Delaware — to find unbridled opposition to more LNG terminals. (Remember we have 6, Japan has 23). He also talks about how enviros have fueled NIMBY’s wherever they can find them (has he been reading the blog….?)

His final paragraph bears repeating:

“My guess, however, is that unless more enviros figure out how to prioritize their issues and engage in the kind of trade-offs and compromises needed to recapture the political center, their once vaunted movement runs the risk of falling further into irrelevancy.”

Here’s a link to the article. It is a must-read for anyone concerned about energy prices. Although we don’t often say it, the Post has it exactly right.

Oh, and don’t forget to drop a note to your Senators and Member of Congress and tell them to start boosting the energy supply as part of our long-term energy solution.